Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election Saturday.
Barr’s letter to Congress said:
• The investigation did not find the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it had conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. He based this statement on Mueller’s report, which said, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
• Mueller did not find evidence of “agreement — tacit or express — between the Trump campaign and the Russian government on election interference.” This, “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.” The letter did not use the word “collusion.”
• Despite Mueller not taking a position on whether the president committed obstruction and explicitly saying his report did not exonerate Trump, Barr noted he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein separately concluded the evidence gathered “is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
The president declared it a “complete and total exoneration,” but such a proclamation is premature.
No one other than Barr and Rosenstein has seen Mueller’s report, which was based on 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants and 500 witness interviews.
What the attorney general released Saturday is a Reader’s Digest version of all of that material. It’s his interpretation of it.
It’s Barr’s opinion.
In a Fox News poll conducted between March 17 and 20, 80 percent of respondents said Mueller’s full report should be made public.
Count us among that group.
And when more of that information is made available to the public, will the majority of Americans share Barr’s opinion there isn’t sufficient evidence Trump acted to obstruct Mueller’s investigation?
We’re going to find out.